A Whole New Experience: 10 Scenic Railway Trips You Should Immerse In - Updated 2023

A Whole New Experience: 10 Scenic Railway Trips You Should Immerse In
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Adrian Chew
Adrian Chew 
| 6 min read

Whenever you are on holidays, deciding the means of transportation is a vital decision to make. There are a few factors to consider too and if you want to enjoy your vacation, you need to plan ahead. Among the factors to consider are the destination, the mode of transportation, ticket prices, accessibility and many others. As summer is coming to the end and the autumn season will start soon, you can travel without hassle as the post summer season is not so crowded. Embark on a scenic railway trip around the world. From Sagano Scenic Railway in Japan to Palace on Wheels in India, you are in for a surprise with these railway trips, where you get to see the beautiful scenery of the countryside.

1. Alishan Forest Railway, Chiayi County, Taiwan

Alishan railway 2014 16
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Smiley.toerist used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you have not been to Taiwan, then this fall season head over to the country. Book yourself a trip to see the beautiful countryside of Taiwan. This is a totally unique and once in a lifetime experience. So, you will not want to miss it. Your tour guide will fetch your from your hotel in Taipei. If you do not understand Mandarin, fret not as your tour guide speaks fluent English. The highlights of your tour are Alishan National Scenic Area, Sun Moon Lake and Puli.

Are you ready for a new trip? Excited to see the famous forest of Alishan by train? If your answer is yes, book your tour straight away. Do not forget to bring your camera along as you can take pictures of the beautiful scenery in Alishan and its surrounding area.

3-Day Taiwan: Sun Moon Lake, Puli, and Alishan from Taipei

Duration: 3 days

25 reviews

2. Peak Tram, Hong Kong (from USD 19.0)

Hongkong Peak Tram
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jon Parise used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Be prepared to experience a tram ride in Hong Kong; but it is more than just an ordinary tram. The Peak Tram is the steepest funicular railway in the world and every day it is packed with tourists and locals. The tram was introduced in 1888 for the use of the residents around The Peak and the British governor at that time. If you want to see the whole of Hong Kong in a day, board this tram. With panoramic views of the city and the various skyscrapers in the city, your journey will be a memorable one.

One recommended tour is the Peak Tram Sky Pass. You will get to visit the Sky Terrace 428, enjoy the tram ride and make use of your pass on the same day. Therefore, you can escape the busy roads of Hong Kong and hop on the Peak Tram for as long as you want. You do not need to wait long for the tram as there is one every 10 to 15 minutes.

Hong Kong Peak Tram Sky Pass and Sky Terrace 428 Admission

Duration: 1 day

51 reviews

3. Sagano Scenic Railway, Kyoto, Japan

Sagano Scenic Railway Hozu River 2016-08-26
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user pang yu liu used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Whenever Japan comes up you will imagine its well-known anime, manga, samurai, sumo wrestlers, ninjas and J-pop culture. But Japan is more than that. It is a popular destination for all seasons including autumn. Kickstart your new season with a trip to Japan and visit Sagano. Sagano Scenic Railway is operated by West Japan Railway Company. You will get to see the magnificent scenery along the Hozu River while on the train. Since autumn is fast approaching, you will get to see majestic wild cherry blossoms. If you plan to come here, you are advised to book your ticket at least a month before your journey. There are four main train stations that you will pass by and each is unique. Kameoka Torokko Station is the terminal of Sagano Scenic Railway. If you need a break you can just grab a coffee at the train station.

At Arashiyama Torokko Station, you will be amazed with the Sagano Bamboo Forest. It offers tourists and visitors the magical scenery of the surrounding area. If you are excited to see the cherry blossoms, you can take out your camera and snap some photos of them while you pass by Hozukyo Torokko Station. Why wait? Embark on a magical tour to Sagano.

Sagano Scenic Railway

Address: Saga Tenruji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto 616-8394, Kyoto Prefecture

Price: Adults, around 620 JPY (5.64 USD), Kids, about 310 JPY (2.82 USD)

Duration: Between 25 minutes and 1 hour

Website: Sagano Scenic Railway

4. Cepu Forest Railway, Java, Indonesia

The iconic bridge on the Cepu Forest Railway
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Stephen Noon used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Cepu Forest Railway is one of its kind in South East Asia. Do you know that this tourist attraction is located on the island of Java, Indonesia? If you are looking for a rare experience and one that you can experience in other countries, pack your backpack and travel to Indonesia. The railway is a light logging railway gauge, which runs through teak plantations to the northwest part of Cepu. Apart from being a tourist train, it is also used as charter logging train. At present, there are only about 30 kilometers (18.64 miles) of railroad left.

Cepu Forest Railway is very popular among tourists from Japan, Europe and the United States. You can book the tours via PT Palawi, a tour company based in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Cepu Forest Railway

Address: Cepu, Blora Regency, Central Java, Indonesia

Duration: About 2 hours

5. Palace on Wheels, India

Palace on Wheels Jaipur
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rainer Haeßner used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Immerse in a unique scenic trip around India. If you are traveling on a budget, forget about it, as the ticket prices for this train ride are expensive. For visitors and tourists that do not have any budget constraints, it’s time to book your ticket online and gear up for your new adventure in India. At anytime the train can accommodate up to 104 tourists, so book your ticket in advance.

Among the cities you will pass by are Agra, New Delhi, Bharatpur, Udaipur and Jaipur. Take a look at the picture of the train - it is a dream come true; you can travel like a king. Besides, you get to sleep in the cabin and dine in the train. What a wonderful experience right?

Palace on Wheels

Address: New Delhi and Ghaziabad

Operating Hours: Kindly refer website for train schedules

Price: Refer website for further details

Duration: Depending on which tour you choose. Kindly refer website

Website: Palace on Wheels

6. Umgeni Steam Railway, Kloof, South Africa

Umgeni Steam Railway 004
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Nolween used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Another scenic railway trip you might want to consider is Umgeni Steam Railway. South Africa is a popular destination and you need to explore the country for yourself. This railway is located in Inchanga, a small village in South Africa. Do take note of the train schedules as you can only board the train once a month. Are you ready for this trip? If your answer is yes, book your tickets online. Umgeni Steam Railway is a short excursion that will bring you from Inchanga to Kloof on a steam locomotive train. Apart from that, you should also check out the museum next to the Inchanga station. It is open every Sunday and there is also a tea garden near the train station. If you are hungry, you can have your lunch and breakfast at the tea garden, but you need to book in advance from the website.

Umgeni Steam Railway

Address: Station Rd, Inchanga West, Inchanga, 3706, South Africa

Operating Hours: Kindly refer website for train schedules

Price: Adults 170 ZAR (About 12.64 USD), Kids 130 ZAR (About 9.67 USD)

Duration: Around 3-4 hours

Website: Umgeni Steam Railway

7. St. Kitts Scenic Railway, Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis (from USD 140.0)

St. Kitts Scenic Railway (6964848103)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Richard Martin used under CC BY 2.0

This particular railway line is located on the island of St. Kitts & Nevis. You will get to see the scenery of the island on board the train. Look at the picture above, you can see visitors and tourists enjoying themselves on board the train. Book your tickets earlier to avoid disappointment. Apart from complimentary drinks you will also get to enjoy beautiful scenery from the open-air observation deck. Kindly refer to the website for details.

St Kitts Scenic Train Tour (Hotel or Ship)

Duration: 3 hours

81 reviews

8. Alderney Railway, Guernsey, Channel Islands

Alderney Train
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dmartin@ukonline.... used under CC BY 2.5

Time to enjoy your short holiday in Channel Islands. At this island you will get a chance to board the Alderney train and enjoy the surroundings of the island. Opened in 1847, it runs around 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) between Alderney Lighthouse as well as Braye Road and Mannez Quarry.

Alderney Railway

Address: 7 Rue de Beaumont, St Anne, Guernsey

Operating Hours: Refer website for train schedules

Price: Kindly refer website for details

Duration: About 2 hours

Website: Alderney Railway

9. The Ghan, between Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin, Australia

The Ghan, Alice Springs, 2015 (06)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bahnfrend used under CC BY-SA 4.0

There are many destinations that are yet to be explored by many tourists from around the world. Heard of The Ghan train before? The name of the train pays tribute to Afghan camel drivers, who arrived in Australia towards the end of 19th-century. So, now you know the origin of the name. If you are looking for an off the beaten track experience, this is the perfect experience. You will get to see the wonders of Adelaide, Darwin and Alice Springs via The Ghan. This kind of experience is very rare and you must embark on this trip.

The Ghan

Address: Between Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin

Price: Kindly refer website for details

Duration: 4 days, 3 nights

Website: The Ghan

10. Bernina Railway, between Chur and Poschiavo. Switzerland and Tirano, Italy (Starting from 164.40 USD)

RhB ABe 4-4 III mit Bernina-Express am Lago Bianco
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kabelleger used under CC BY-SA 3.0

A good way to travel between Italy and Switzerland is by train. Bernina Railway is world famous as it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Get ready to see the majestic scenery of Italy and Switzerland in a day. Book your tour on the highly recommended Bernina Express Scenic Train Journey from Chur. You will travel about 122 kilometers (75 miles) by train and enjoy a fun day out.

Bernina Railway

Address: Bahnhofstrasse 25, 7002 Chur, Switzerland

Operating Hours: Kindly refer to website for details

Price: Starting from 164.40 USD

Duration: Around 9-10 hours


A whole new experience

Autumn is definitely the best season to see beautiful trees, flowers and plants. Whether you are in Japan, Taiwan or Italy, you will really have a fun and exciting time on your vacation. Get ready to see the brown, red and yellow leaves this fall. Time to grab your camera, video recorder and backpack for a scenic trip.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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I was born and raised in a small town called Muar, Johor in Malaysia. After my parents got married, I moved to Kuala Lumpur and currently residing in Selayang, Selangor. My favourite pastime...Read more

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